Medal of Honor focuses on the 2001 invasion of Afghanistan, referred to as "Operation Enduring Freedom", as the US led invasion forces fight Taliban insurgents. In campaign the player will control several Tier 1 Operators, that liken themselves as the "scalpel" of the U.S. war machine, whose missions favor restraint and require discretion. Also playable in the single player are U.S. Army Rangers, the "hammer" of U.S. coalition forces. Multiplayer features standard deathmatch, as well as objective based modes, where players can select from multiple classes including special ops, assault and recon specialists.
The game centres around one particular battle: the Battle of Shah-i-Kot. This battle was part of Operation Anaconda. This large scale operation had as a goal to root out Taliban forces hiding in the surrounding mountains. The operation was lead from March 1, 2002 until March 19, 2002. The American lead coalition succeeded in hunting the Taliban out of the region and as the game indicates, the Taliban numbers were estimated to be up to 1,000 troops strong. The operation involved both US and Afghan forces, like in the game, and the Taliban suffered losses of about 500 causalities which is probably the body count the player will find themselves with by the end of the game. Of course, the Generals and Colonels leading the operation don't have the same names as the ones who lead the actual operation (Anaconda was lead in real life by LTG. Franklin L. Hagenbeck).
In the game, the player is tasked with capturing the Bagram Airfield. This airfield really exists and has been under US control since December 2001. This airfield is extremely important as it houses part of the US Marines and air forces in Afghanistan. It's also one of the few airfields in Afghanistan where Air Force One is authorized to land.
The Tier 1 operators that the player play as did not exist even though certain team mates of the player00 such as Dusty have existed in the past. One of Medal of Honor's main protagonists, pictured on the box art, is rumored to be a real veteran of the current war in Afghanistan. He is currently referred to as a "Tier 1 Operator," nicknamed "Cowboy", and works for the National Command Authority. These operators are part of the United States Naval Special Warfare Development Group. Tier 1 operators are trained in counter terrorism and can only be deployed by the President or the Defense Secretary. The game also has players controlling Tier 2 operatives (US Army Rangers) and Tier 3 operatives (10th Mountain Division).
The game starts as US Army Rangers are in the back of a helicopter, flying over a snowy valley. A man who seems to be the commanding officer jumps out of the helicopter first. Just when his feet brutally hit the ground, rockets fly everywhere and hit the helicopter, blacking the player out.
The game flashes back 6 weeks. As the opening credits roll, the camera pans around Earth. During this sequence, the story manages to explain why the U.S. are in Afghanistan without ever using the phrase "9/11". Players hear news broadcasts including which say the words "beautiful morning in NYC", "live from downtown New York", "Dark smoke coming from the Pentagon". Players also hear the military talking about the Taliban and how they're playing planing something big, which has been referred to as the "wedding". The camera zooms in onto Afghanistan and gives a birds eye view of Afghanistan land through a UAV drone.
The camera descends into the perspective of Rabbit, a Tier 1 soldier part of AFO Neptune. He's riding in white trucks with the three other soldiers of his squad (Mother, Voodoo, Preacher) towards the village of Gardez. They're tasked with meeting with an informant called Tariq. Tariq has told his militia friends that Neptune was coming which facilitates their entry into the town. The militia tells the squad that the Taliban have apparently left the town so there's no need to worry. Despite this fact, the squad is still on edge. They arrive on a street where the garbage cans are on fire and a truck blocks their passage. Suddenly, Chechen terrorists appear. A rocket hits the truck in front of Rabbit; Voodoo puts the truck in reverse and drives it right through a building. The two soldiers make their way by foot to meet up with the two other squad mates, Mother and Preacher who've survived despite their truck blowing up.
The squad manages to "link up" and deduce that Tariq has ratted them out since the Taliban was waiting for them. They still decide to fight their way to the house where the rendezvous was planned. They go to the second floor where a dead, brutally wounded man sits tied to an office chair. Neptune first think this is Tariq but realize that it is not. Suddenly they begin to hear beeping coming from inside the body and realize that the body is booby trapped. Mother kicks the chair back onto the balcony where the body blows up taking out the front of the house. Neptune radios Command asking them where Tariq is; Command replies by saying that a CIA drone may have found him in a nearby fort.
Neptune arrives at the fort and discovers that it's not only heavily guarded but also inaccessible due to a huge front gate. Command sends a predator missile, making the squad experience danger close, and Neptune enters the fort, killing Taliban. They search every room of the fort for Tariq and eventually find him being held at gun point. They take care of his captors and go to a rendezvous point to hand him off to the CIA. Tariq tells the squad that they must counter attack Al Qaeda and the Taliban. According to him, the Taliban have a large contingency of soldiers and weapons in Shah-i-Kot valley. Once again, this proves that intel was wrong.
AFO Neptune and a squad of local soldiers are tasked with taking an airfield in Bagram. This heavily protected airfield eventually falls and becomes a forward operating base for US forces. The base is under the control of colonel Drucker. Drucker's superior is General Flagg. Flagg is a stereotype of certain American generals while Drucker shows a much more patriotic type of America. Flagg is actually in the US with a nice office with a nice view that looks on some nice looking palm trees. Drucker on the other hand is neck deep in Afghan territory. They have very conflicting views. Drucker wants the AFO to go on recon and the Afghan army to eliminate the army, limiting American losses and letting the Afghans win their war. Flagg wants to deploy different army divisions and the Rangers to go and kill the Taliban in the mountains. Drucker proves that what the general is asking is dumb but Flagg gives Drucker 24 hours to do what he said or else.
The player then takes control of AFO Wolfpack. Players control Deuce while the other team mates go by the names of Dusty, Panther and Vegas. Deuce and Dusty ride on quad bikes and spot Taliban convoys in the area. They soon discover that these convoys are actually full of weapons and go on a stealth mission to mark them all with a beacon so allied forces can take them out. The action switches back to Rabbit who paints the convoys for US missiles to destroy. At the same time, Drucker has inserted Afghan forces to go hunting for the Taliban. Flagg calls in a rage. At the same time, AFO Wolfpack approach a column of unknown vehicles. Flagg being intensely angry with Drucker orders an AC-130 strike on said vehicles. The vehicles were actually those of the Afghan army and of the US and friendly fire ensues leading the Afghans to retreat. Drucker having lost the Afghans has no other choice but to call in the Rangers.
The Rangers are called in and are all super pumped. They land in a valley and first think that there is no enemy. Suddenly, they find themselves under heavy weapons fire and rockets fly through the air, shooting down US helicopters. Bodies drop but the squad manages to make it out safe. Players control Specialist Dante Adams; him and his squad are tasked in destroying the Taliban's heavy machine guns that are raining death onto the valley. Players eventually destroy the machine guns thanks to a Predator missile and traverse down towards a small village to get picked up. The village seems calm. One of the squad mates approaches a door and just when he utters the words "cellphone" the house blows up. The squad manages to recover, but Taliban start running down the hills in all directions. The Rangers try to take cover behind rubble but there are just too many bad guys. They call in for air support but realize that none is in the area. They also realize that they have no more ammo. The Rangers call off air support since they won't be able to survive long enough for it to arrive and wish Command "Good Luck". Just as they're about to be overrun, Apache helicopters appear and narrowly save the lucky Rangers.
Players take control of the Apaches as they shoot up the neighboring mountains and Taliban bases. After eliminating an entire village, the Apaches are about to go home when an AAA gun suddenly appears. Right before the helicopters are blown to pieces, the Taliban manning the AAA gun is shot in the head. The shot came from Deuce and Dusty who are on the opposite mountain. They're sniping nearby Taliban and are in contact with Neptune who are on the opposite mountain. Neptune lures the Taliban into Wolfpack's line of fire, killing the insurgents. Eventually, the Taliban are too numerous and Neptune is forced to retreat over the mountain ridge.
Players take control once again of Rabbit. Neptune makes a run down the mountain to escape the Taliban. They make it to the LZ but due to RPG fire it gets too hot and the Chinook leaves without Preacher and Voodoo. Mother and Rabbit promise to come back for them since their helicopter has been hit and must return to base. Mother mounts an operation and returns into the mountains at night to look for the two lost squad members. Their helicopter is attacked and Rabbit and Mother are forced to jump. They get separated but eventually meet up. However they seize the attention of the Taliban and end up being chased by them. They lock themselves up in a hut that is destroyed by an RPG. Mother drags a wounded Rabbit who manages to get up but who is combat inefficient. The two Americans get cornered at the edge of a cliff and decide to jump. They land many meters later and fall into the hands of the Taliban.
Drucker manages locate the two captured soldiers and wants to send a team to save them. Flagg disagrees with this and doesn't want to risk anymore losses. Flagg and Drucker get into an argument to the point where the colonel decides to disobey orders and cuts communications with Flagg. An AC-130 is in the area and the only way to know which ones are Mother and Rabbit is to send a single missile near the group of Taliban. The ones who don't run away are the two prisoners. Drucker sends in a special team to go save the two soldiers.
The Chinook in which the rescue team is flying is shot down. The game shows Players what a helicopter crash looks like from inside of a helicopter, where bodies bounce around in slow motion while enemy bullets tear through its armor with ease. After this spectacular crash, the squad goes through many Taliban before finding Voodoo and Preacher. After more looking and with the help of a CIA Predator drone they find Mother and Rabbit. The player's point of view changes to Rabbit's as he tries to stay alive despite his wounds. His team mates try to reassure him but sadly there is no air support in the area to pick up Rabbit.
Rabbit dies of his wounds and the rest of the team is evacuated via Chinook. Body bags line the corridor of the Chinook as jets can be seen destroying what is left of the Afghan camp. Voodoo states that "this is not how it ends" and the screen fades to black. A message appears, honouring the soldiers fighting to keep freedom alive. Then, "The Catalyst" from Linkin Park plays.
The credits shortly cut to show two men dressed in typical Middle Eastern clothes enjoying a cup of tea in a bustling Middle Eastern city. Suddenly, they see a man they were looking out for, they get up and the credits resume.
- Mission 01: First In
- Mission 02: Breaking Bagram
- Mission 03: Running with Wolves…
- Mission 04: Dorothy’s a Bitch
- Mission 05: Belly of the Beast
- Mission 06: Gunfighters
- Mission 07: Friends From Afar
- Mission 08: Compromised
- Mission 09: Neptune’s Net
- Mission 10: Rescue the Rescuers
The development of Medal of Honor has been split between Danger Close Games (EA Los Angeles) and DICE. Danger Close is assigned to make the single player campaign while DICE will be developing the multiplayer portion of the game. Additionally, DCG is using Unreal Engine 3 to make the single player campaign, while DICE will employ their own Frostbite Engine to create the multiplayer. This suggests the possibility of more disparity between the single player and the multiplayer portions of the game than is usually expected in a first-person shooter.
Medal of Honor plays like most modern day shooters. The game is played in first person with the gun being slightly on the right side of the screen. All of the weapons that the player use can be more precise when the player looks down the weapon's iron sights. Some weapons only have iron sights where the player must aim by pointing the weapon at the enemy, look down the sights and place the enemy right above the the middle vertical part of the sight. Some weapons have more precise aiming attachments such as the red dot. This dot is actual the result of a laser that's pointing out of the weapon and that indicates where the player is aiming. Some weapons, such as sniper rifles have scopes that can zoom in on a target. These scopes can also detect an enemy's heat signatures.
In Medal of Honor, the player can carry around three weapons at once. He usually starts off the mission with a heavy and light weapon (for example, an assault rifle and an uzi). He also possesses a pistol. The pistol is given to him on every mission, sometimes silenced. This pistol has unlimited ammo and can be accessed by quickly hitting the weapon swap button twice. Ammo is given to the player at the beginning of a mission and he can replenish his ammo by going up to one of his squad mates and asking him for some. It's to be noted that when the player reloads, if a bullet is already in the chamber before reloading, it stays in the chamber, providing one extra bullet to shoot per magazine. The player will also encounter special weapons during certain events. For example, he may be asked to use a large sniper rifle for long range shots. During this sequence, the player must take the wind and distance into account. At other times, the player may have to use a Soflam to guide missiles to the desired target.
Medal of Honor offers some player movement that isn't regularly seen in modern day shooters. Players can lean from left to right by holding down the lean button (L1 on PS3, LB on 360, Q and E on PC). Players have unlimited sprint. Players can also slide. Slide is done while sprinting. While sprinting, hit the crouch/prone button and the character will slide a short distance. This is useful for getting into cover. Players can crouch and lay prone; players will crawl if they move while prone. The player can keep tabs on how much ammo he has left, what weapons he has equipped, where his squad mates are and where his objective is by hitting up on the control pad. Players can also choose the ammo type with the control pad. Players can choose to change the weapon from auto to semi-auto.
One level has the player driving an ATV. The ATV is driven like any other vehicle. It can accelerate, brake and reverse. It can also power slide and the player can turn the head lights off for stealth. In one mission, the player is firing Hellfire missiles and heavy machine gun rounds from an Apache helicopter. The Hellfire missiles can only be fired at enemies in front of the player, the heavy machine gun can fire in almost every direction except directly behind the Apache.
Weapons included in the single-player and multiplayer games:
- Assault Rifles: AK-47, M16A4,
- Carbines: M4A1, AKS-74U
- Sub-Machine Guns: MP7A1 , P90TR
- Shotguns: TOZ-194, 870MCS
- Sniper Rifles: M21, M24, SVD, SV-98 , M-110, M82
- Machine Guns: M249, PKM , MK43(M60E4 with RAS)
- Pistols: Beretta M9 , SIG-Sauer P226, MP-443
Multiplayer was built entirely by DICE and is separate from the single player campaign. It's interesting to know that when the game is booted up, the single player portion automatically loads. If players select multiplayer from the menu, the game goes to a separate load screen to load the mode.
Multiplayer is similar to other multiplayer modes in modern shooters. It's class-based, has killstreaks, and uses experience points for persistent progression. Unlike other EA online games, Medal of Honor does not require an online pass to access the multiplayer component. This was probably done to keep it competitive with Activision's Call of Duty series.
The gameplay for this mode is different from the single player. The controls have changed and certain actions that were present in the single player are absent from the multiplayer. For example, in multiplayer, players cannot slide, lean or go prone. Also, only two weapons are available at a time. The controls are very similar to what can be found in DICE's last multiplayer focused game Battlefield: Bad Company 2.
The multiplayer also has a different HUD: the ammo is marked differently and multiplayer adds a minimap. This minimap shows the location of squad mates and enemy locations when they fire their weapon or the UAV is online. The score of the current game is also displayed on the bottom left as well as killstreak progress, which starts at 0/50.
The multiplayer offers the choice of 3 classes to the player: Rifleman, Special Ops and Sniper. By choosing a class and earning points in the game, either by killing enemies, accomplishing objectives or using support actions, the player earns points specific to the class he's playing as. The player can play as one of two teams: Coalition or Opposing Forces (ex Taliban). Both teams use different weapons, weapons that can be unlocked by gaining levels (the game caps at level 15). Here is the full unlock tree for each class:
- Recruit: Assault Rifle (M16A4 or AK-47)
- Regular: Extra Magazine
- Expert: Red Dot Scope (increases accuracy)
- Veteran: Light Machine Gun (M249 or Kalashnikov PKM)
- Operator: Suppressor (silences weapon but decreases range)
- Commander: Open-Tip Ammunition (increases damage)
- Elite: Long Range Combat Scope (increases range)
- Tier 1 Recruit: Muzzle Brake (increases accuracy)
- Tier 1 Regular: F2000 Assault Rifle
- Tier 1 Expert: Veteran Assault Rifle (call sign)
- Tier 1 Veteran: Veteran Light Machine Gun (call sign)
- Tier 1 Operator: Enemy Assault Rifle
- Tier 1 Commander: Pistol Ammo
- Tier 1 Elite: Enemy Light Machine Gun
- Tier 1 Warfighter: Extra Grenade
- Recruit: Carbine (Colt M4A1 or Kalashnikov AKS-74U)
- Regular: Extra Magazine
- Expert: Red Dot Scope
- Veteran: Combat Shotgun (Remington 870-MCS or Tula Arms TOZ-194)
- Operator: Suppressors (reduces range)
- Commander: Slugs/Open-Tip Ammunition
- Elite: Long Range Combat Scopes
- Tier 1 Recruit: Laser Sights
- Tier 1 Regular: P90 PDW
- Tier 1 Expert: Veteran Carbines
- Tier 1 Veteran: Veteran Combat Shotguns
- Tier 1 Operator: Enemy Carbine
- Tier 1 Commander: Pistol Ammo
- Tier 1 Elite: Enemy Combat Shotgun
- Tier 1 Warfighter: Extra Grenade
- Recruit: Battle Rifle (M21 or Norinco NDM-86)
- Regular: Extra Magazine
- Expert: Long Range Combat Scope
- Veteran: Bolt Action Sniper Rifles (M24 or Izhmash SV-98)
- Operator: Laser Rangefinder
- Commander: Open-Tip Ammunition
- Elite: High Power Scopes
- Tier 1 Recruit: Suppressors
- Tier 1 Regular: G3 Battle Rifle
- Tier 1 Expert: Veteran Battle Rifle
- Tier 1 Veteran: Veteran Sniper Rifle
- Tier 1 Operator: Enemy Battle Rifles
- Tier 1 Commander: Pistol Ammo
- Tier 1 Elite: Enemy Sniper Rifles
- Tier 1 Warfighter: Extra Grenade
Medal of Honor comes with 4 different multiplayer game modes plus a Hardcore mode that eliminates the HUD and boosts damage. There is also an "all game modes" mode that puts players into any available match. At the end of each match, a short cutscene ends the match.
Like the game suggests, this is regular 12 vs. 12 team deathmatch where two teams (Coalition or Op For) must kill each other to earn points. The game ends when time runs out or when the score limit is reached by one of the two teams.
Sector Control is a Domination game mode where two teams fight to control three different control points. Each team usually spawns next to one control point and the third one is usually in the middle of the two spawn points. To capture a control point, a team has to stay in a certain area around a flag point and raise his team's flag (the US flag or the Taliban Flag). Capturing a control point will net 20 points to each player who helped capture the control point.
This is the same game mode found in Battlefield: Bad Company 2 only on a smaller scale. One team defends two objectives while the other team must place a bomb on it. Once the bomb is placed, the defending team will have a limited amount of time to disarm it. The beeping noise that the objective makes when the bomb is armed is exactly the same as in Bad Company. This mode lasts five minutes per round.
Another Battlefield classic, Combat mission tasks one team to complete objectives while the opposing team tries to stop them. When the attacking team completes an objective, the map opens up to another batch of objectives. The attacking team wins if they complete all the objectives in the set time.
Medal of Honor's maps are both original and taken from the singleplayer. Each map can be played on multiple game modes while certain maps are exclusive to Combat Mission.
Diwagal camp is a mix of both village and cave combat. One side of the map is situated in a cave while the other in a destroyed town. In the middle of the area is a road with a destroyed tank in the middle. The cave side of the map is ideal for sniping while the village ruins encourage close quarters combat. This map is playable in Team Assault, Objective Raid and Sector Control. In Sector Control, one flag is in the caves, the second in the town and the third one in the middle of the wide open road making capture not an easy task.
Garmzir Town is a small town with many tight corners, alleyways and visually crowded marketplaces. The map is broken into two separate sectors with a river running in the middle. Said river is particularly exposed to sniper fire thanks to the many small buildings that border it. The map is playable in Objective Raid, Team Assault and Sector Control.
This marketplace can best be described as a sniper's paradise. Visually extremely crowded with a wide color palette that makes hiding easy. Many tall building give sharpshooters the edge while close quarters guerrilla warfare can be useful in the long alleyways and for getting rid of the snipers in the narrow buildings. This map can be played in Team Assault, Sector Control and Objective Raid.
Kabul City Ruins
This is a small urban map with a main two story building that's usually the center of attention. There are also some side streets that are ideal for urban combat. This map is playable in sector control, Team Assault and Objective Raid.
The Multiplayer beta for Medal of Honor started on June 21, 2010 for anyone who pre-ordered the game, although VIPs of Battlefield: Bad Company 2 were able to start playing a few days earlier, on the 17th. The beta includes two maps & modes; Combat Mission mode in Helmand Valley and Team Assault mode in Kabul City.
The game was supposed to come out on PC, PS3 and Xbox 360. However, the Xbox version has been delayed multiple times, forcing EA to extend the duration of the beta on other platforms to line up with the eventual Xbox beta. The delay was announced on the Medal of Honor blog by Matt Pruit:
The Medal of Honor beta for the Xbox 360 is delayed, but it is expected to be available next week. We are extremely disappointed about this, but want to assure you that we are dedicated and determined to delivering all of you this awesome multiplayer experience as soon as possible. However, we are excited to extend the beta to make up for lost time!
This was written on June 17, 2010 but since then the beta has been repeatedly delayed for the 360. A month after that post, Matt Pruit announced that the beta was being extended on PS3 and PC, with beta cards still working after the expected July 18th, 2010 expiration date. This was done so the Xbox version could line up with the other versions.
On October 4th, an open beta for the PC players only was available with two new maps and modes. The beta ended October 7th; anyone could have downloaded and played the game. The two maps included were: Shahikot mountains and Kunar Base . The modes included in the Open Beta were: Combat Mission and Sector Control .
It was announced at E3 2010 that the Limited Edition version of Medal of Honor released on the Playstation 3 would exclusively include a high definition remastered version of Medal of Honor: Frontline. Also, on July 13, 2010, EA announced that the Medal of Honor: Limited Edition released on all platforms (PS3, 360, PC) and will be released at the same price as the regular version. It will give players access to the MP7, an exclusive weapon for the Limited Edition. The TOZ-194 and 870MC2 shotguns will also be available day-one for Limited Edition purchasers. Non-Limited Edition consumers will have to rank up in order to obtain those weapons. On July 30th, 2010 it was announced that the Limited Edition also will include a beta key for DICE's upcoming title Battlefield 3.
The Medal of Honor soundtrack was released on September 28, 2010. It was composed by Ramin Djawadi.
|1.||From Here||Ramin Djawadi||3:50|
|2.||Watch Your Corners||Ramin Djawadi||3:20|
|3.||Heroes Abroad||Ramin Djawadi||5:10|
|4.||Streets of Gardez||Ramin Djawadi||3:56|
|5.||The Time Is Upon Us||Ramin Djawadi||2:02|
|7.||Falling Away||Ramin Djawadi||2:49|
|8.||Taking The Field||Ramin Djawadi||2:27|
|9.||High Ground||Ramin Djawadi||2:28|
|10.||Thirty Seconds Out||Ramin Djawadi||1:59|
|11.||The Summit||Ramin Djawadi||2:47|
|12.||Paint 'Em Up||Ramin Djawadi||2:32|
|13.||Enemy Down||Ramin Djawadi||2:50|
|14.||All Rounds Expended||Ramin Djawadi||3:10|
|15.||Send In The Rangers||Ramin Djawadi||3:21|
|16.||Tariq's Plea||Ramin Djawadi||4:08|
|18.||Final Extraction||Ramin Djawadi||3:43|
Medal of Honor's multiplayer modes enable players to control Taliban soldiers; this has consequently led all Army and Air Force Exchange Services to ban the game. Under pressure, EA removed the Taliban name from the multiplayer and now simply renamed the playable faction to "Opposing Force", similar to what games such as Modern Warfare 2 have done. Electronic Arts has released a statement and wrote that they made the name switch because of feedback they received from families of servicemen and women deployed in the conflict. The single player campaign remains unchanged and the player will engage the insurgency designated the Taliban.
PC System Requirements
- OS: Windows XP (SP3), Windows Vista (SP2), Windows 7
- Processor: Pentium D, 3.2GHz / Core 2 Duo, 2.0GHz / Athlon 64 X2
- Memory: 2GB RAM
- Video Card: Video card must be 256MB or more and contain these chipsets or better: NVIDIA GeForce 7800 GT ; ATI X1900. Laptop versions of these chipsets may work but are not supported. Updates to your video and sound card drivers may be required.
- HDD Space: 9GB
- DirectX: DirectX 9.0c
- OS: Windows Vista (SP2), Windows 7
- Processor: QuadCore 2.0Ghz
- Memory: 2GB RAM
- Video Card: A video card with 512MB of VRAM and one of the following chipsets: NVIDIA GeForce GTX260; ATI Radeon 4870
- HDD Space: 9GB
- DirectX: DirectX 10